A new report shows cases of a deadly hospital superbug are escalating, despite a major drive to reduce infections on wards.

New figures show there were 536 patients found to have the CPE bug last year, compared to 433 in 2017.

A report from the Health Protection Surveillance Centre shows Tallaght hospital was worst hit with 78 cases last year, followed by Galway University Hospitals where 56 patients contracted the superbug, with 31 patients affected at Sligo University Hospital.

CPE lives harmlessly in the gut but can be dangerous if it gets into the bloodstream - more than half of  patients who develop infections with CPE die directly or indirectly as a result.

It poses a particular risk to people with weakened immune systems and the elderly and it was declared a public health emergency in October 2017.

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